Aclara, a global supplier of smart infrastructure technologies to water, gas and electric utilities, plans to leave its plant in Somersworth and set up shop in a new location.
According to a statement, employees were informed on Thursday (Feb. 13) of the decision to exit production at the Somersworth facility “over the next year,” and that the company is “in the process of identifying a possible location in the nearby region for a new Electric Meter Center of Excellence.”
The new location will be home to approximately 100 employees currently based in the Somersworth facility and will be focused on engineering, research and development. As part of this transition, Aclara will be moving all manufacturing and repair functions currently housed in Somersworth to its contract manufacturing partners, according to the statement.
“While the creation of the Electric Meter COE is an important step forward, the decision to exit the Somersworth facility was a difficult one. Our primary focus at this time is to support our employees through this transition,” the statement reads.
Aclara acquired the 10-acre facility and the General Electric Meters division in December 2015, which had operated in the city and been a major employer for more than 70 years. The facility was built in 1922 by Great Falls Manufacturing, and used by the U.S. Navy during World War II. GE began operations in Somersworth in 1945.
Somersworth Economic Development Manager Robin Comstock says the city is optimistic about the future of the site. “It’s a beautiful location on the river, close to the University of New Hampshire, so it’s the kind of property that could be attractive to businesses across the country.”